Hair moisturiser

am trying to make a hair moisturiser but it seems really runny with foam at the top. Don’t know what am doing wrong. This is what I used 

Coconut oil    30%
peg40 Castor oil 10%
macadamia nut 10%
caprylic Capri 20%
btms. 1.2%
cetearyl alcohol 3%
isopropyl myristate 5%
 cyclomethicone 5%
phenoxyethanol 1%

please advise 


  • JarJar Member
    edited September 2019
    I don't know a whole lot, so take this with a grain of salt. But peg40 Castor oil is a surfactant  and they foam. There may also not be enough BTMS in there, 1.2% seems low to me, you have a lot of oil in there.
  • Too much oil, wrong approach to emulsification system, not a broad spectrum preservative. Do you add any water at all?
  • I have removed the peg40. And reduced the oil. Wasn’t planning on using water. Wanted to add glycerin as a solvent. 
    The reason I have very little btms is because anything above that level will be very irritating for me on a leave on product. I have very sensitive scalp. 
    please recommend any other detangling agent that would be more effective but less irritating.
  • I have revised it to

    coconut oil 30%
    Cetearyl alcohol 10%.
    glycerine 10%
    caprylic 5%
    Btms 1.2%

    Does the amount of Cetearyl alcohol I use matter? Is it restricted in quantities? 
    Can I use Guar in place of btms? Is is a better product 
  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited September 2019
    Glycerin is water. Are you trying to create cationic water in oil emulsion here? What is that product supposed to do in general? What is hair moisturiser?
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    No ... Glycerin is not Water.  They are two completely different molecules.


    Looks like you are trying to make a glycerin emulsion.  Firstly, to simplify things, why are you trying to avoid putting water in your formulation?  It would be much, much simpler if you made a traditional BTMS cream.  So, why don't you start by giving your reason for not including water.  You can substitute Glycerin for water in the emulsion and it will work, but Glycerin is very, very sticky.

    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals & Clean Beauty arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program/Clean At Sephora/Credo Clean guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details
  • @MarkBroussard, I probably should have specified. Bella82 said, that she is not going to add water. In her updated formula there is only 1.2% of BTMS. Since glycerin is watersoluble, it should be treated as water in this formula and as you said, it is going to be a glycerin based emulsion. I don't think that 1.2% of BTMS will be sufficient to stabilise such a product.

    And in general, 10% of glycerin in hair product, might feel very sticky.
  • 1.2% BTMS is too little emulsifier for a whoping coconut 30% oil
    10% Cetearyl alcohol is too much and needs extra emulsifier by itself.

    What kind of guar? Anyhow, it's likely it will leave a sticky afterfeel.
    So does glycerin.

    If it's a for a spray-on hair conditioner you can try something like
    BTMS 2%
    non volatile Silicone 0.5%
    Coconut oil 0.5%
    fragrance qs
    preservative qs
    water qs

    For a cream leave-on conditioner something like
    BTMS 4 or 5%
    non volatile silicone 0.5-1%
    coconut oil 0.5-1%
    cetyl alcohol probably around 2-3% as needed to thicken it
    preservative qs
    fragrance qs
    water qs

    You can add some cyclomethicone if you want, but there's no need for macadamia oil, PEG-40 HCO, caprylic capric triglyerides, or IPM.
  • Thank you so much 
  • Gunther, I am going to try out the leave on. But please, am pretty new to formulating and I don’t know what qs would stand for. 
  • bella82 said:
    Gunther, I am going to try out the leave on. But please, am pretty new to formulating and I don’t know what qs would stand for.
    Meaning "as needed, but not more than that"
    Even some chemists mistake qs for Quantity Sufficient, although at the end that's what they meant.
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